Children's book creators aren't leaving it up to younger generations to do all the fighting for gun control. A few kidlit authors are taking on gun violence with #KidLitMarchesForKids, a series of protests planned for Mar. 24, the same day as the more general #MarchForOurLives protest.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before author Jenny Han and Drama author Raina Telgemeier planned the first two #KidLitMarchesForKids demonstrations in New York City and San Francisco, and now other kidlit creators have joined in. The Last Boy and Girl in the World author Siobhan Vivian has organized a demonstration in Pittsburgh, and other events are now planned for Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Ann Arbor, and Washington, D.C.
Even if they aren't organizing events of their own, many kidlit and young adult authors have joined forces with Han and Telgemeier to spread the word about #KidLitMarchesForKids. They include Ellen Oh (Prophecies), Elizabeth Eulberg (Just Another Girl), Jennifer E. Smith (You Are Here), E. Lockhart (We Were Liars), and Sarah Dessen (Once and For All). Han has put out a call for people willing to organize #KidLitMarchesForKids events near them. You don't have to be a kidlit or YA author or illustrator to get involved, however. Anyone in the children's book community, including teachers, librarians, and readers, is welcome to join in.
#KidLitMarchesForKids will coincide with March For Our Lives events in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere. Organized by survivors in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., which claimed the lives of 17 students, faculty, and staff, March For Our Lives will demand action on gun control measures that will protect students and their instructors at school. According to its mission statement, "March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar.
In case you've missed the significance of March For Our Lives as a student-led movement, let me remind you that Apr. 20, 2018 will mark the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, which every school shooting since has called, horribly, to mind. The surviving students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were born into a post-Columbine world, and have lived through as many as 25 deadly school shootings since. These kids are fighting to change the only country they've ever known, and it's honestly amazing to watch.
You can march with #KidLitMarchesForKids and March for Our Lives on March 24. View a complete list of events here.